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Last Updated: Monday, 3 September 2007, 10:51 GMT 11:51 UK
Scottish Executive renames itself
Scottish Government building in Edinburgh
Workers have already changed the sign at Victoria Quay
The Scottish Executive has been rebranded as the Scottish Government, it has been confirmed.

The new name will be used on all documents, letters, publicity material and signs outside government buildings.

The move came after research suggested the term "executive" was meaningless to many people.

First Minister Alex Salmond said the time was right for a change, but Labour said the SNP had acted "unilaterally and without consultation".

The administration's legal name will still be the Scottish Executive.

The overwhelming majority of people had no idea what the term 'executive' meant
Alex Salmond
First Minister

The first document to feature the new title will be the SNP's legislative programme, which is due to be unveiled on Wednesday.

A new Scottish government sign has been put in place outside its Victoria Quay building in Leith, replacing the existing Scottish Executive sign.

A saltire will replace the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom on the Scottish government's official documents.

The rebranding is expected to cost about 100,000.

Politicians from the Lib Dems and Labour have already begun to use the term Scottish government in recent months.

Scottish Executive building
A poll showed most people do not like the term Scottish Executive

A poll held after then-Labour chief whip Tom McCabe said he was open to suggestions for a name change in 2001 showed that only 29% of people wanted the title Scottish Executive to remain.

Mr Salmond said Northern Ireland was the only other country in the world where the word 'executive' was used to describe a layer of government.

He added: "The overwhelming majority of people had no idea what the term 'executive' meant.

"Obviously the Scottish administration is the government. It is regarded as the government across a range of issues, and it should act like a government."

Mr Salmond said he believed the time was right to make the "common sense change".

What an administration does and what it achieves in office is far more important than what it is called
Conservative spokesman

His spokesman defended the cost, arguing that it was just 0.2% of the 50m savings identified by the SNP administration.

Labour leader-elect Wendy Alexander said: "I am open-minded on the name change and recognise the possible advantages.

"However, it is inconsistent with a professed desire for consensus, conversation and co-operation to act unilaterally and without consultation.

"It is another sign that the trappings of office risk getting a higher priority than improving the lives of Scots."

Minimum cost

A Conservative Party spokesman said: "What an administration does and what it achieves in office is far more important than what it is called.

"If there is to be any change then it's got to be done at a minimum cost to the taxpayer."

A Scottish Liberal Democrat spokesman said: "Changing the name of the Scottish Executive was first proposed by the Steel Commission, set up by the Liberal Democrats last year.

"However, spending 100,000 to achieve this is both unnecessary and profligate."

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